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Gandhinagar, Thursday: The two-day regional workshop of Indian Road Congress to discuss quality and implementation of roads and bridges began at Staff Training College here today.

Inaugurating the workshop, Gujarat's Principal Secretary (Roads & Buildings) S.S. Rathod said the budgetary plan grant on infrastructure has increased from Rs.460-cr earlier to Rs.3,300-crore, up from 3.0 per cent in 2000-2001 to 9.5 per cent now, courtesy Chief Minister's focus creating on infrastructure facilities for development.

Some salient steps taken to ensure quality include Built-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model, guarantee from three to five year, technical audit by engineers, inclusion of private laboratories for testing, he said.

Indian Road Congress President Dr. D.K. Yadav said the institution set up in 1934 provides a platform for sharing technology and quality, planning, designing and construction, in collaboration with its counterparts in developed nations. Whether it is Prime Minister's Gram Sadak Yojna or National Highways, he said, the Congress leaves its mark.

It is being attended by engineers, contractors and consultants of Maharashtra, Goa, Rajasthan, Border Roads Organization and National Highway, besides that of Gujarat.

In his welcome address, Indian Road Congress Gujarat Chapter Chairman P.N. Jain said that Gujarat has 1.33-lakh km network of roads as against country's 33-lakh km. Its Organizing Secretary J.A. Gandhi proposed a vote of thanks at the inaugural session.

Other experts attending the workshop include Messrs C.C. Bhattacharya, R.K. Jain, R.K. Saxena, D.P. Gupta and Dr. Sunil Bose.

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